Ms. McNeil has performed in 25 countries worldwide, entertaining in a number of 5-star hotels: The Westin, Radisson, Sheraton, The Four Seasons, The Hyatt, The Crowne Plaza, The Double Tree and The Ritz Carlton. She sang for the King and Queen of Bangkok (by special request) at the Oriental Hotel in Thailand and was featured act as part of the Manny Kellough All Star Celebrity Jazz group on the Silhouette Celebrity Cruise Liner. As a contract songwriter for Motown Records in her native Detroit, Michigan, several world renowned artists have recorded her music including Nancy Wilson, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Gladys Knight & the Pips, David Ruffin, L.L. Cool J, Edwin Star, The Four Tops, Rita Marley, Kiki Dee, Jonah Jones, Side Effect, Rapper ‘Styles’ and the historic Rap group, The Watts Prophets, of which Ms. McNeil was a member. She was one of the first women to Rap in the late ‘60s and early 70’s speaking up for women’s rights. One of her raps about respect for women was used as the televised theme song during New Zealand’s Miss Universe Contest in 1983. However, her passion and artistry has always been closely linked to Jazz.
Currently residing in Los Angeles , California , McNeil stays busy performing in local Jazz venues while also vocal coaching part time. From 2008-2009 she was Director of Artist Development at (CCM) California College of Music in Pasadena . She vocal coached at both PIMA (Pasadena International Music Academy) and CCM for six years and currently teaches part time at Music Performance Academy in Alhambra, CA . For (13) years she hosted a program entitled “Jazz ‘N You” that taught preschoolers and their families the three elements of jazz in libraries all across Los Angeles County. She wrote and produced two musical stage plays in Detroit and also produces well-attended concerts in the Southern California area. Her plays are based on historic figures and their music contributions. In 2001, she won the BET (Black Entertainment Television Network) “Jazz Discovery Competition” and appeared in concert on BET’s internationally syndicated television program.
Her articles and Cd reviews have appeared in Cadence Magazine, All About Jazz Newspaper, and she has a blog on www.lajazz.com. Currently, her music columns run in several on-line www.Patch.com newspapers that are owned and operated by aol.com. In 2009 her book “Haiku In My Neighborhood” was published, featuring the photography of Roland Charles. Based on this book she taught a very successful poetry program for youth from 5 – 12 years old in Inglewood, CA City Schools. As a published poet, her poems have appeared in a number of anthologies. She sometimes incorporates poetry into her musical performances, as she did in 2010 during a performance at the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
Her cds include Rappin’ Black in a White World as part of the Watts Prophets Group – Ala Records; Where Can Our Leaders Be? Distributed by USA Records; “Live at Spaghettini”; and “Live at the Discovery Theater with the Bill Dowdy Jazz Trio”. Most recently “Dee Dee McNeil Live in Bangkok ” with the Bamboo Bar Quartet was released. In March, 2011 she was honored by the City of Los Angeles for her contributions to music, to jazz and to youth.
CD available on-line via paypal at www.deedeemac.co and will be distributed through CD Baby – January 2015.
DEE DEE McNEIL
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